Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Rhode Island, US, to launch new phase of reopening the economy from June 1. Additional business restrictions to be eased.

This alert affects Providence, Rhode Island

This alert began 30 May 2020 11:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Rhode Island (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant travel and business disruptions

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo announced the state will progress to Phase 2 of Rhode Island's COVID-19 recovery plan, from June 1. Under this phase, social gatherings will be limited to 15 people. Domestic travel restrictions will be relaxed and the 14-day quarantine order is only effect for those returning to Rhode Island from an area still under stay-at-home restrictions. All residents must wear a face covering when in public and maintain a proper distance from others. In addition to essential businesses, the following businesses and facilities may reopen from June 1:

  • Office-based businesses may allow up to 33 percent of their workforce to return, but telework should continue where it can.
  • Retail stores may can further relax restrictions to allow for more customers in their stores. Malls can reopen with restrictions.
  • Restaurants may reopen for indoor dining at up to 50 percent capacity and other restrictions.
  • Personal care services including barbershops, hair salons, nail care, waxing, tanning, massage, and tattoo services may reopen with restrictions.
  • Gyms, fitness studios, and small group fitness classes may reopen with restrictions.
  • Outdoor entertainment and recreation activities may resume on a limited basis.
  • All state parks and beaches will be open with capacity limitations and social distancing restrictions.
  • Houses of worship can reopen at up to 25 percent capacity with restrictions.
  • Child care services may resume.

Transport and business disruptions are likely to persist even as restrictions are eased. Officials could amend the orders on short notice, depending on local disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures could accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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